Baking Elma Family Garden Kitty Photography PR Collaboration

A fairy garden party for Spring


Our neighbours have fairies in their trees.  I know this because every night Kitty and Elma peek out of their window and we can see the lights in the magnolia tree. It must be fairies, mustn’t it?

There’s a lovely openness to their imagination at this age; anything really is possible if they want it to be; they’ll happily accept the possibility of fairies in the tree, pixie moments, and just possibly a black hole under the bed that eats socks.

I think it must have been in one of our stories that Kitty first heard about the idea of a fairy tea party and from then on it was fixed in her head as something that would surely happen one day; one day she’d tiptoe into the garden, or around the corner of the path through the woods, and there before her would be a fairy glen with the tiniest table laid for tea, with cakes and sandwiches and all sorts of lovely things, just perfect for a little girls and her fairy friends.

I’ve written before about how much I love playing up to that imagination and letting a few of their dearest dreams come true; when they’re so simple and so easily achievable it’s irresistable; I know it won’t be many years before their dreams are way out of my budget and idea of common sense.

But this, with a little help from some friends, this we could do.

So we spent the morning doing a little baking, making cupcakes and gorgeous butterfly biscuits and then after lunch we drew the lounge curtains, shut the door and told Kitty and Elma that they were invited to a very special fairy picnic.  They got dressed up in their fairy princess skirts and found their wings from  wherever they’d last been abandoned and they and their flower fairy dollies sat giggling waiting for us to say that it was ready.

I laid the table and H refilled the bubble guns and then finally it was the moment they’d been waiting for, and they peeked out from behind the curtain, and then came running through a shower of bubbles.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And from the looks on their faces, I think it was everything they’d hoped for.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

A little path of eggs purloined from the Easter egg stash leading to the nearest we could manage to a fairy glen, the shady post under next door’s beautiful magnolia tree, with their little art table borrowed out of the lounge and a few tablecloths and play silks to set the scene.

The bunting I borrowed from their room; two of the strings have their names on them and usually hang across the curtain rail and the other says Happy Birthday on the back and the ribbons in the bushes are actually their streamers (9ft of ribbon on a stick – they use them for twirling, think ribbon gymnastics sort of thing).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And when they got close enough to see the table there was a feast! Well a little one, just perfect for two small girls, the poor fairies having been abandoned in the lounge in all the excitement!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life


They started with bread and butter cut to a flower shape on tiny plates borrowed from the girls’ toy tea service, together with lemonade in my favourite mini milk bottles, and the most gorgeous pink and white stripy straws, and then moved on to little St Clements’ flavour sponge cakes topped with orange icing and pink sugar paste butterflies.Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Half of the cakes were in plain cases and then dropped into garden cupcake wrappers, and the other half I baked straight into pink tulip cupcake cases.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I really can’t decide which ones I like the best, I’m just so glad I didn’t have to choose, the pink tulip ones look just like flowers and I love the mini garden round the side of the wrappers. Plus if you’re careful enough with the wrappers you can save them to use again another time.

And if all that wasn’t enough, inside the green and white stripy bags were the butterfly biscuits that they’d helped to make in the morning.  It’s a really clever cutter, there’s an inner cutter that is just slightly shallower than the main cutter so it makes a nice deep imprint of all those lovely swirls but doesn’t cut all the way through unless you overdo it, or use the cutter the wrong way up (which Kitty seems to do with every cutter ever no matter how obvious the correct way).  I’ve amassed a number of butterfly cutters over the years (you’d never guess the butterfly love around here would you!) and this is by far and away my favourite.  Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I know I’ve shared these pictures before but I can’t resist putting them in again; they are some of my favourite ever pictures of Elma, and they sum up the whole afternoon.  Kitty loved the bubbles and the butterflies on the cupcakes while Elma said the biscuits were her favourite, and I loved setting it up and watching them giggle their way through.  They spent the rest of the day dancing around the garden dressed as fairies, every now and then nipping back for a cake or a nibble of biscuit, and at the end of the day all that was left was the crumbs and a lot of happy memories.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family lifeSpace for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family lifeSpace for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

So it is a big thank you to MeinCupcake (who also have an English language shop here) who sent the butterfly cutter, stamps to make the sugarpaste butterflies and the sugar paste itself, pink stripy straws, the green and white chevron bags, and pretty cupcake cases and wrappers to make two little girls’ dreams come true.  Their site is a thing of wonder and joy for anyone who likes baking (my sister and I spent at least an hour on there texting each other and then facetimeing so we could show each other what we found) and the delivery was a piece of cake despite coming from Europe, my parcel came by courier, arrived inside a week and was tracked the whole way, perfect.

An afternoon that they definitely won’t forget any time soon.

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  • Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations 25/04/2015 at 10:00 am

    Carie… I think this is possibly my most favourite post of yours ever, ever, EVER! My girls would just love this!! So much so that I might just have to set up our own little tea party next week! This is utterly adorable! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

    • Carie 26/04/2015 at 10:03 pm

      Oh do it – they’d have so much fun!!

  • dean of Little Steps 25/04/2015 at 12:08 pm

    Oh my goodness, I love the details! Everything looks so pretty and your photos of your little girls are absolutely lovely too 🙂

    • Carie 26/04/2015 at 10:03 pm

      thank you – it was so much fun 🙂

  • Kim 25/04/2015 at 12:16 pm

    This is so sweet, what a fun idea. I can just imagine how much they loved this.

    PS Love the table cloth 🙂

    • Carie 26/04/2015 at 10:00 pm

      It’s a gorgeous tablecloth – I found it in a junk shop in the next town over and I love it – at the moment it’s doing duty as a cloth over a box of grown out of clothes to be Kitty’s bedside table but I pinched it for the party!

  • jandi 25/04/2015 at 1:04 pm

    what a lovely afternoon! and what precious memories for you and your beautiful girls! xx

    • Carie 26/04/2015 at 9:58 pm

      thank you – it really was 🙂

  • Mackenzie Glanville ( 25/04/2015 at 1:28 pm

    They are lucky little children, just beautiful xx

    • Carie 26/04/2015 at 9:56 pm

      they’re lucky but they deserved it too!

  • Donna 25/04/2015 at 10:05 pm

    That looks like such a beautiful garden party and the sort of afternoon memories are made of x

    • Carie 26/04/2015 at 9:52 pm

      It was so much fun to do it just because, rather than with the pressure of a party or an occasion and I hope they’ll remember it because of that.

  • Bex @ The Mummy Adventure 25/04/2015 at 11:49 pm

    What a beautiful idea and so magical for the girls. I love the photos of Elma

    • Carie 26/04/2015 at 9:51 pm

      They’re right up there as some of my favourites ever – definitely going on the print-me list!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 26/04/2015 at 5:57 am

    Oh Carie this is the most beautiful idea EVER! My Girl’s would have been in heaven with this- what a lovely and thoughtful thing to do for them. Such gorgeous photos too. x

    • Carie 26/04/2015 at 9:48 pm

      Thank you – to be honest I think I had as much fun planning it all as they did playing with it – definitely a win win!

  • sustainablemum 26/04/2015 at 9:19 am

    What a wonderful mother you are. A lovely, lovely post, the perfect fairy tea party. Beautiful 🙂

    • Carie 26/04/2015 at 9:48 pm

      Aww thank you – and now I’m blushing!

  • Vickie 28/04/2015 at 12:56 pm

    Oh oh oh! The bubbles, the bunting, the biscuits, everything is just perfect. I love your attention to detail in all of the little touches to make it magical. I’m sure Kitty and Elma will remember this for years to come.

    • Carie 29/04/2015 at 10:46 pm

      I suspect that it will probably pass from their memories, which is why I’m very glad to have all the photos to show for it – but for now it’s all they talk of!

  • Yanic 30/04/2015 at 1:34 am

    Everything about this made me smile from ear to ear… such a sweet sweet day!

    • Carie 30/04/2015 at 9:29 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • sally 06/05/2015 at 7:04 pm

    What a gorgeous idea, think we may have to pinch it!

    • Carie 07/05/2015 at 10:25 pm

      Oh do, it was so much fun!